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Spending on Pets Should Rise Nearly 5% in 2014

Posted: March 17, 2014, 4:25 p.m. EDT


Americans will spend an estimated $58.5 billion on pets in 2014, a one-year gain of 4.9 percent, the American Pet Products Association reported Thursday.

Spending in 2013 totaled a record $55.7 billion, led by $21.6 billion in the food category, APPA President and CEO Bob Vetere stated during a presentation at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla.

Pet owners this year are expected to spend $22.6 billion on food, $15.25 billion on veterinary care, $13.7 billion on supplies and over-the-counter medicines, $4.7 billion on services such as boarding, training and grooming, and $2.2 billion on live-animal purchases.

 Bob Vetere
APPA President and CEO Bob Vetere
Despite reports of a decline in veterinary visits, clients may spend 6.1 percent more this year, the APPA found.

"Both food and veterinary care are strongly influenced by consumers’ growing interest in improved health care for their pets,” Vetere said. "Health and wellness-related themes represent the most powerful trends across all segments of the industry and will continue to do so again this year.”

The biggest jump occurring from 2012 to 2013 was in pet services, where spending rose by 6.1 percent. Additional growth of 7.2 percent is forecast in the category this year.

"People are pampering their pets more than ever, and manufacturers and businesses are offering new products, services and opportunities to meet their needs and wants—from interactive and innovative toys to dog walking, doggy day care and pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and airlines,” Vetere said.

The only negative growth in 2014 is forecast in the category of live-animal purchases. Total spending is expected to fall by 1.8 percent, or $40 million.

"We have seen a slight slowdown in growth rates over the past few years on all pet types except dog and cat,” Vetere said. "That is contributing to the overall decline in live-animal purchases as well as the threat of pet sales bans in some communities.

"That said, there are enough other positive influences to keep industry sales strong,” he added.

One factor in the industry’s growth is what Vetere called the positive impact of pet ownership on human health.

"The body of science validating that pets are good for us is growing with strong research in numerous areas of health,” he said. "Studies now exist that show pets can help improve our cardiovascular health, improve immunity in young children and assist with therapy for autistic children and people suffering from [post-traumatic stress disorder].”

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